Auckland, New Zealand Open Space Framework

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Auckland, New Zealand

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Type: Policy

Status: Draft

Source File:


Our Collective Taonga

The draft framework
'Our collective Taonga: Places for people, places for nature' is the draft open space framework for Auckland city. It sets the direction for the future improvement, protection and management of Auckland's open spaces. The development of the framework is part of a long-term initiative to make the best of the city's parks, urban forest, beaches, streets and town centres.


'….a city yet destined to be one of the fairest in the world, for what shores more beautiful than hers as they meet the glancing waters of her lake-like harbour?' Sir John Logan Campbell, 1891

'Our collective Taonga: Places for people, places for nature' has been developed to provide a clear framework for council's role in the future of Auckland's open spaces. It sets the direction we need to follow to maximise the contribution of the city's open spaces to the council's vision of Auckland as the 'First City of the Pacific'.

1.1 Why do we need a framework for the future?
Many cities around the world have received far-reaching social, environmental, economic and cultural benefits from making the best of their open spaces. The provision and upkeep of high quality open space is vital to the long-term social, economic and environmental sustainability of cities and regions; helping to improve the quality of people's lives and the strength of communities.

In Auckland, the quality of the city's natural and urban environment contributes significantly to a quality of life ranked as one of the best in the world. People who chose to live, work and play here do so amidst an amazing natural landscape of volcanoes, harbours, coastlines and islands, with the city's parks and beaches offering a wide range of recreation, lifestyle and outdoor experiences.

The qualities of the city's open spaces reinforce Auckland's desirability as a place where people want to live, work, visit and invest. From the popular destinations of Tamaki Drive to the neighbourhood parks on the corner of our streets, Auckland's open spaces define the city, its identity and celebrate our cultural heritage. They are the places where our communities can come together, be active and recreate. They are important to the quality of our everyday lives and the sustainable management of our natural environment.

'Our collective Taonga: Places for people, places for nature' represents Auckland City Council's continued commitment to the future improvement, protection and management of our city's open spaces. As Auckland grows and changes and the way in which we care for our local environment becomes of global significance, 'Our collective Taonga: Places for people, places for nature' sets the overarching framework to ensure we make the best of our city's open spaces.

1.2 What does the open space framework cover?
The framework has been developed to reflect the diversity and distinctiveness of Auckland's open spaces, across the isthmus and the islands, whether in public or private ownership. It covers the open spaces of our amazing natural landscape - the volcanic features, the Hauraki Gulf Islands, the beaches, coasts and native habitats as well as the network of open spaces which make up our everyday environment - the city's parks, streets, sports fields, cemeteries and play grounds.

Whilst the framework primarily provides strategic direction for open space which is owned and managed by Auckland City, council champions an integrated approach to the future improvement, protection and management of our city's open spaces. We will continue to work closely with other land managers and decision makers; including local iwi and private landowners, to take forward the principles and strategic direction set out in this document.

1.3 How will we implement the framework?
A series of six action plans support 'Places for People, Places for Nature' and implement the principles and strategic directions it establishes. Each plan relates to a key component of the city's open space network - parks and green spaces; streets and town centres; the urban forest; the open spaces of the Hauraki Gulf islands; the coasts and beaches around the isthmus; and the open spaces of the city's volcanic landscape.

The plans are action orientated, setting out and establishing an integrated approach to open space policy and planning. Collectively, they bring together how we want to develop and manage Auckland's open space network over the next 10 years and the steps to get us there. The plans aren't mutually exclusive; they each interrelate, guided by the strategic direction of the 'Our collective Taonga: Places for people, places for nature'.

Outcomes for the city
'Our collective Taonga: Places for people, places for nature' is working towards the delivery of a series of outcomes. These outcomes clearly set out what we want to achieve and help to articulate how open space will contribute and support the long-term vision of Auckland as 'First City of the Pacific'.

Having a series of outcomes specific to open space enables us to monitor and review the implementation of the principles and strategic directions set out in this framework document.

They will also guide the development of SMART objectives, which will be developed as part of the open space action plans.

Outcomes for the city
An integrated network of open spaces across the city which:

  • are of world-class quality, celebrate Auckland's amazing natural landscape, unique identity and cultural heritage
  • offer a diverse range of recreation and lifestyle experiences and activities, which provide a visitor experience second to none
  • meet local needs, are accessible to all, create pride in Auckland and foster a sense of belonging to the city
  • are safe, clean and green, highly valued for their contribution to the city's sustainability, green infrastructure and environmental systems.

2.1 Council's vision of Auckland as the First City of the Pacific
The outcomes we are seeking for the city establish what we need to do to maximise the contribution of the city's open spaces to the council's vision of Auckland as the 'First City of the Pacific'.

The outcomes also respond to how our city's open spaces can best support and implement the strategic themes of the organisation i.e. economic opportunities, quality natural environment, quality urban environment, strong communities, transport choices and an efficient and capable council.

By setting clear outcomes for the future improvement, protection and management of our city's open spaces, 'Our collective Taonga: Places for people, places for nature' will help to achieve council's strategic vision in the following areas:

World leaders

Amazing natural landscape

  • Auckland has a unique landscape with twin harbours, the Hauraki Gulf Islands and volcanic cones. We are renowned for the sustainable way we keep our environment clean and green. This gives us a great lifestyle, attracts business and provides a visitor experience that is second to none.

World class


  • Every Aucklander can enjoy the benefits and lifestyle opportunities provided by our location, and feel safe throughout the city.


  • Auckland has a distinct identity. We identify with, and celebrate our city.

Vibrant local centres

  • We have vibrant, distinctive and connected local centres that reflect all our communities. These attract people because of their distinct characteristics.

Big city baseline

Auckland is sustainably managed to provide:

  • a protected unique ecology, quality natural and built environment, and protected heritage throughout the city
  • the infrastructure and networks that make the city work for people, visitors and businesses
  • access for everyone to the community and social facilities, networks and services that we need throughout our lives.